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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Prof. W. Eck preparing squeezes at the Macellum
Statue base set up by "the people" [of Sagalassos] for Marcus Lollius, their patronus.
The Apollo Klarios Temple dominating the Lower Agora (see arrow) as if it had become a forecourt of the shrine
The facade of the Apollo Temple as restored in A.D. 103-104. The red arrow indicates the missing fourth architrave.
The first (southern) architrave of the Apollo Temple's facade after its restauration in A.D. 103-104. The first line contains the dedication to Apollo Klarios and the divine Augusti, the last one mentions the operation of marble wall veneering (skoutlosis) of the interior walls.
Bronze plate with the official Latin text found in the auditorium of the Bouleuterion (or council hall) of Sagalassos.
The bronze plate with the Greek inscription from the late Roman potter's workshop. The names mentioned are visible in line 4.

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Epigraphical Studies 2006

For three years, the corpus of all inscriptions from Sagalassos and its territory has been prepared for publication by Prof. W. Eck and his collaborator P. Eich (both University of Cologne, Germany). This year, only the former participated in the campaign, from July 28 until August 8, 2006. He focused mainly on the texts discovered in August 2005 or during the campaign of 2006. I would like to stress, however, that I take full responsibility for the following interpretations and hypotheses, based either upon my own findings or upon discussions I had in previous years with the late H. Devijver, unless mentioned otherwise. This campaign, the topographical focus of interest of Prof. W. Eck were the Sagalassos inscriptions kept in the Burdur Museum found during our excavations (a complete catalogue of the Burdur Museum inscriptions by G. Horsley and R. McKearsly is in press), the recording of all inscriptions at and around the Macellum and the Shrine for Apollo Klarios, the study of the fragments lying around the stadium, and the control of smaller fragments kept in the excavation house depots.

A more specific topic was the study of two inscribed cylindrical statue bases for colossal statues representing the governors M. Lollius (first Roman governor of the province of Galatia in 25-22 B.C.) and S. Julius Frontinus (governor of the province of Asia under Domitian, most likely in or around 86 A.D.). Both bases turned up in the ruins of the Antonine Nymphaeum on the Upper Agora--apparently recycled there in late antiquity together with other inscriptions regarding the family that had financed the original monument (dated to the reign of Marcus Aurelius), in order to increase its perception by the late antique urban population and transform it into a kind of dynastic monument. Eventually the two bases may have stood on the fountain's roof, together with two or three similar ones with erased inscriptions. Marcus Lollius is honored by the "dèmos/people" [of Sagalassos] as their patronus, meaning that he must have brought privileges to the city (intervention in the extension of its territory; solving territorial disputes with neighboring cities or estates; special contacts with the emperor). On the other base, Sextus Julius Frontinus, the famous author and curator aquarum (responsible for Rome's water provision) is honored as the city's benefactor (euergetès) in his function as governor (anthypatos or proconsul). As far as we know, however, he never was proconsul of Lycia-Pamphylia, but probably ca. A.D. 86 of Asia, meaning that at the latest under Domitian Sagalassos was part again of that province, to which it had already belonged twice in Republican times. A colossal foot, dated by Semra Mägele to the reign of Augustus, could have belonged to the Lollius statue.

Apollo Klarios

The incorporation of Sagalassos into the province of Asia under the later Flavians and Trajan is of the greatest importance for the date of the Apollo Temple's restoration. In the past, the governor Proklos or Proculus mentioned in the building inscription had been identified with either Cn. Arrius Cornelius Proculus or Julius Proculus, governors of Lycia-Pamphylia respectively in A.D. 139-140 and 152. Yet, an Antonine date for the building elements belonging to the reconstruction to which the inscription refers is totally out of the question. On the contrary these elements clearly reflect a transformation and repair of the shrine around the transition from the first to the second century A.D. The fact that in A.D. 86 Sagalassos seems to have been part of the province of Asia again, offers other and better possibilities for identifying the governor with one of two Proculi fulfilling this position under Trajan: C. Aquillius Proculus (A.D. 103-104) and (Q. Fulvius Gillo) Bittius Proculus (A.D. 115-116). As discussed elsewhere in detail, the date of the first Proculus better suits style of the monument. It was only during the second half of the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) that Sagalassos would join Lycia-Pamphylia, until Diocletion created the province of Pisidia.

Once the date of the repair of the building inscription can be established with a fair degree of certainty as A.D. 103-104, its role in the history of the Imperial cult at Sagalassos can also be better assessed. The inscriptions of the city's Neon Library and a number of statuary bases found throughout the city show that almost certainly during the reign of Vespasian, the emperor's cult had been introduced at Sagalassos by a local aristocrat, grandfather of the library builder, and the first of his family to become Roman citizen: T. Flavius Neon, son of Attalos. In the epigraphic record he is called the "first high priest of the imperial cult" and "organizer (agonothetès) for life" of the agones connected with it. He immediately rose to the highest level of local society: while marrying Claudia Severa, who together with her brothers had financed a large honorific monument for Trajan near the stadion's entrance, he married into Sagalassos' most prominent local family during the first century A.D. Their son T. Flavius Attalianus Quadratus already became a Roman knight, whereas Neon's sister Flavia Severa married M. Julius Maximianus an equestrian procurator and son of the family's patronus. Another son, P. Flavius Dareios, became the father of T. Flavius Severianus Neon, the library builder and probably the greatest benefactor, whom Sagalassos ever knew. This new family of citizens and knights (from the second generation onwards) thus introduced the Imperial cult at Sagalassos, almost certainly within the shrine of Apollo Klarios: first of all this god was closely associated with the person of Augustus himself (see Apollo Klarios: August 6-10, 2006); secondly, in A.D.103-104 the Imperial cult was still housed here; finally, the Klareia, games called after the local Apollo, were closely connected with the emperor's cult too, as most agonistic inscriptions were found either within or in close vicinity of one the city's two Imperial temples. Moreover, Sagalassos' first Roman knight, Tib. Claudius Piso, a relative of Claudia Severa, the wife of T. Flavius Neon, the founder of the local Imperial cult, was not only involved in erecting monuments honoring almost all emperors from Claudius onward to Hadrian (the latest monument being the late Hadrianic Nymphaeum built by his heirs according the stipulations of his will). In at least two of his honorific inscriptions, this Piso is called both "high priest of the Imperial cult" (this must have been after T. Flavius Neon held this office), but also "the first organizer (agonothetès) for eternity (in perpetuum) of the agones Klareia." As both men must have been contemporaries, this means that the games founded by Neon cannot have been the same as the Klareia, although they may have merged later. In fact, a careful study of the inscriptions in the back wall of the Neon Library suggests that their order had been changed during construction, so that the building originally conceived to honor T. Flavius Neon Sr., the first Roman citizen of the family, eventually was dedicated to his son, T. Flavius Dareios, who apparently died before his father (he is called hieros in his inscription, while none of the other members of the family are) and henceforth occupied the central place. According to the content of the long list of inscriptions, the inauguration of the monument must have occurred in the years A.D. 120-125. Whether or not Tib. Claudius Piso was still alive at that moment is uncertain, but most probably, despite his age, he must still have known Hadrian, who became emperor only in A.D. 117, as the large nymphaeum dedicated to this emperor was built and dedicated by Piso's heirs according to his will, perhaps in A.D. 129-132. Therefore, there is no contradiction in T. Flavius Neon being the "first" imperial high priest and Tib. Claudius Piso occupying (later) the same priesthood. Yet, there is a problem with the fact that the former was "organizer for life" of the games connected with it and probably still alive in A.D. 120-125, whereas the latter, who most likely had witnessed the accession of Hadrian in A.D. 117, was "the first organizer (agonothetès) for eternity (in perpetuum) of the agones Klareia." Unless the Klareian games had two presidents for life at the time of their creation, this can only mean that one is dealing here with two different games: the Klareia connected with the cult of Apollo Klarios, who could have preceded already the introduction of the Imperial cult in Apollo's shrine, and the agones introduced by T. Flavius Neon together with the emperor's cult. Later the two most probably merged, as especially during the third century, many local aristocrats linked new games carrying their own names to the Klareia as part of holding the office of high priest of the Imperial cult. Piso only mentions that he is the first "agonothethès for eternity of the Klareia," which only means that he took up the charges of the games himself throughout his life, not that he founded them. As the Apollo Temple was built under Augustus and as even a Hellenistic predecessor is not excluded, this means that the "Klareia" originally may have been older than the emperor cult.

A careful study of the remaining fragments also reveals a lot about the family, which restored the Apollo (and first Imperial) Temple in A.D.103-104 and does not seem to have been closely related to the Flavii who introduced the Imperial cult a generation earlier. In the 1860s, Count K. Lanckoronski could read most parts of the building inscription referring to the Apollo Temple's repair in A.D. 103-104 by a local family. Of the five architraves of the facade, which overlooked the Lower Agora, which thus had become a kind of a forecourt of the shrine, as was also the case elsewhere (Athens, Corinth, Ephesos), only one (number IV) was missing and could not yet be retrieved by Ine Jacobs' team either (see Apollo Klarios: August 6-10, 2006). At the moment architrave II deciphered by Lanckoronski is still missing too. This is rather striking as the entablature of the west facade of the temple with the Trajanic building inscription, probably only covered with stucco, apparently was simply transferred backward inside the building, where it henceforth formed the entablature separating the transept of the late fifth-century A.D. basilica from its three naves. Although more than half of the texts have been recovered in 2006, this has allowed us to correct K.Lanckoronski's lecture on some crucial spots and complete the genealogy of the family responsible for the rebuilding. M. Waelkens now reads the text as follows, whereby square brackets indicate what was not seen by K. Lanckoronski and the red characters what is additionally missing now. Round brackets are either explanations or represent missing verbs. Blue characters indicate corrections to Lanckoronski's text. The five pieces of entablature are placed next to one another, in the original succession, whereby the text of the three lines, one on each fascia (stepped part of the architrave), should be read continuously throughout the entablature's entire length.


A key element of understanding the family relationship is that Lanckoronski did not interpret Dareios of architrave III, line 3 as a personal name but as a word to be translated as "brother in law." Yet, the name Dareios, possibly a reminder of the Persian domination for more than two centuries of Pisidia, was quite common among Sagalassos' elite, just as they continued to use other dynastic names, such as Antiochos, Seleukos, and Attalos too: the first of the local Tiberii Claudii to become a Roman citizen under Claudius or Nero was Tib. Claudius Dareios, son of Kalliklès, one of four brothers (?) honored with a colossal Corinthian column carrying their bronze statues in the corners of the Upper Agora, probably for having paved and enlarged the square. His mother, Ias, also received a pedestal carrying her image in the SE corner of the same square. One of the sons of the "golden" couple T. Flavius Neon and Claudia Severa and father of the library builder was Publius Flavius Dareios. It is also hardly understandable that Lanckoronski did not read the words "his brother" after Varus Dareios. Varus was also quite common as a cognomen among the elite: it was the name of Tib. Claudius Piso's brother, whereas later another aristocrat created the games "Vareia" called after him.

If one reads the inscription closely, one can see how one family divided the costs of the repair of the temple, which must have almost amounted to a total rebuilding, among its various members. As all these members of the family and their in-laws carry the name Flaviu, were they promoted together to Roman citizenship out of gratitude for repairing the shrine ?. In that case, their initiative must have started already at the latest under the last Flavian, Domitian, i.e. before he was murdered in A.D. 96.

T. Flavius Collega and his wife thus paid for rebuilding the 6 by 11 column peristasis. The name of his wife was copied by Lanckoronski as Fl(avia) Donillè with the two lambda's interlocking each other on the architrave. On a kind of console found in 1995 on the west slope of the Lower Agora, T. Flavius Collega honors his wife (probably with a statue) as Flavia Longilla. The misspelling of her name in the building inscription by Lanckoronski is quite understandable as originally, we made the same mistake. The reason is that all characters of this line are carved standing on a continuous line making the first character of her name, a Lambda looking like a Delta, whereas the Nu shows a very short horizontal line at the top, thus forming a ligature only clearly visible on the squeeze as NΓI instead of NI.

The reference to "the time of the priesthood of Collega" mentioned in the third person in line 2 and then the resumption of his name in line 3 preceded by "the same" seem to suggest that a relative (or relatives) was (were) responsible for the repair of the naos, perhaps his real mother Ado[......] and/or her husband Fl(avius) Diomedes, who was Collega's stepfather, helped by two (?) of the children they had together, among which [Flavius ?] Hermolaos, Collega's stepbrother. Together, they paid besides their own money and additional 10,000 denarii (a summa honoraria?) added to what they had already given, when Collega became high priest of the cult. The naos was rebuilt, repaired and inaugurated or dedicated through the intermediary of someone whose name is lost, in A.D. 103-104.

Finally, the marble wall veneer covering the interior walls of the temple was paid for again by T. Fl(avius) Collega and his real brother T. Fl(avius) Varus, through the intermediary (?) of their stepfather Fl(avius) Diomedes.

So this family consisted of a certain Flavius Diomedes and his wife Ado[.....], who must have received Roman citizenship under one of the Flavians, possibly Domitian, and had at least two children together, one of which was [Fl(avius)] Hermolaos, whereas Ado[.....] from a previous marriage had already two other sons T. Fl(avius) Collega and T. Fl(avius) Varus, of which the former became high priest of the Imperial cult under Trajan. Yet, the whole family seems to have been involved in the repair (almost a rebuilding) of the old Apollo Temple. The cognomen Kollegas of the high priest also provides us with additional chronological clues, refining the date of granting the Roman citizenship to the family, indicating that they were already rewarded with this honor before repairing the temple and that their social promotion therefore was not a reward for doing this. In all likelihood, T. Flavius Kollegas and his wife Flavia Longilla were clients of a well-known patronus Cn. Pompeius Collega, legatus Augusti propraetore Galatiae and Cappadociae ca. A.D. 73/74 -77/78. Several Anatolian aristocrats rewarded with Roman citizenship took over his cognomen as well. All of this means that the transfer of Sagalassos to Asia must have occurred between ca. A.D. 73/74-77/78 and ca. 86 (governorship of Frontinus in Asia). The final publication of this very important building inscription, is eagerly awaited, once the two missing architraves are hopefully found. The importance concerns both the date and the dedicants. W. Eck also identified in the western part of the church fragments of at least three other recycled inscriptions, two of which were of an agonistic nature, one of them even mentioning the erection of a statue (of a victor?) worth 10,000 silver drachmes.

Macellum & bronze plates

W. Eck also studied the inscriptions from the Macellum, which seems to have possessed on most probably four sides porticoes with inscribed entablatures. The dedication on the west portico has a long erasure probably removing the name of Commodus. Other sides may have had the emperor's name erased as well, of which the nomenclature suggests a construction date ca. A.D. 180-191. (see Macellum: July 30-August 10, 2006).

Personally, W. Eck considered as some of the most interesting topics of his 2006 campaign the study of two inscribed bronze plates. One was unearthed in 1996 in one of the shops of the Market Building to the north of the Upper Agora, constantly rebuilt and reused until the 6th century A.D. The other was found in 1998 in the council hall of the Bouleuterion itself, abandoned by the late 4th century and transformed into an open atrium for a basilica erected in the Council Hall's previous forecourt. The fragments do not belong to the same document, but such documents were most popular near the beginning of the Principate and usually contained some message sent from Rome, which should be burned into the minds of the local population. A good example are fragments of the Res Gestae divi Augusti displayed on the Temple of Augustus and Rome in Ankyra (Ankara). The fragment from the Market Building is rather small and hardly anything can be made out of it, except the fact that its language is Latin. This is also the case with the larger plate from the Bouleuterion, which seems to make known an important event. As many people in the cities, even in the East, were (semi) illiterate, important messages or decisions were read aloud in public places such as theaters, before being permanently posted in prominent places. The choice of the location, the city's old Council Hall and the material (bronze) chosen for I, identify at least one of the fragments as an important document, such as also the use of Latin did, probably sent by the emperor himself.

Yet, a search in the depots produced more bronze plates, this time written in Greek! They both turned up in 2001, respectively in the Roman Baths 1 sector and in the Potters' Quarter. Of the first one only a few square letters possibly mentioning the name of Sa[galassos, -seus, - seôn] are visible, but the second one, written in a cursive script contains at least five lines, possibly containing the names of Helios and Hera, but also very strangely perhaps the name Antioch[os Neono]s Rhodôno[s dis?], the succession of which would correspond with the that of the father and ancestors of P. Aelius Akulas, the Macellum builder (see Macellum: August 6-10, 2006). It is almost too nice to believe that this is more than an incorrect reading or a mere coincidence, but it can not be totally excluded that this family was active in the potters' industry. The plate was found in room 5 of a late Roman ceramic workshop excavated by J. Poblome and still containing a kiln. The layer in which it was found could have been an occupation layer with second to fifth century A.D. material and a large collection of mainly late coins. As Akulas, son of Antiochos inaugurated his Macellum ca. A.D. 180-191, the chronology does not exclude such a hypothesis.

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